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God’s Gift: Christ, our Saviour

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Thank you for taking a few minutes each day over the last month to travel to this final gift with me.  I hope you have found the journey rewarding, and it has been a blessing for you.  As we continue to walk towards Epiphany in these twelve days of Christmas, may God show Himself in tangible and unmistakable ways to you. With the love of Christ, Season

Bible Reading: Luke 2:6-21

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The Shepherds and the angel, Carl Bloch, 1879

Shepherds.  They see Christ first.  They are the images used in Old Testament prophecy.

Shepherds who protect, guide, discipline. Shepherds who restore their relationships with the lost of their flock.

Christ is here! He is here to restore what was broken in the Garden.  He is here to provide the peace that surpasses understanding. . .because it is His peace, not human peace.  He is here to draw us closer to the kingdom of Heaven, the rule of God

He is what we have been waiting for.

Thoughts for today:

How does knowing that Christ is here change your time of waiting?

What does this, the final gift of God, mean to you personally?

Oh, how undeserving we are of this gift.  But how grateful we should be. Jesus. What is there to say in response to the enormity of this gift? Our reliance on His embodiment of every other gift from God is the only way to show our gratitude.  God doesn’t say that it will be easy. He understands our human hearts. He knows that while we want to do right, we won’t. But He’s here, while we wait, while we struggle, while we try.  

And He loves us. He is our gift.

God’s Gift: Ruling

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Day 17 of Advent and God’s Gift.

Bible Reading: Isaiah 11:1-9

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Image: public domain

Part of this scripture reading was Day One of our waiting.  Here we are reminded of the characteristics of the Holy Trinity: wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge.

But today’s reading goes further.  It explains the gift of God’s ruling.  It will bring such peace that creatures who were once enemies will eat together and lie down together.  The knowledge of the Lord will bring safety.

Only the fear of the Lord will remain. . .that awe inspiring, righteous trembling of His great power and rule.  We will not have a fear of each other.

God’s rule will bring His creation together.  What a beautiful thing on which to wait.

Thoughts for today:

What fears are keeping you awake at night as you wait?

How do you think it will feel to give all that fear to the Lord and rely simply on His ability?

Too often, God, we let our fears control what we do during this time of waiting.  We wrap ourselves in the memory of the past rather than look toward Your ruling of our future.  Help us to lay down our fears and to move toward Your light as we continue to wait.

God’s Gift: Light

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Day 15 of Advent and God’s Gift.

Bible Reading: Isaiah 9:2, 6-7

Day15

Image: public domain

If you’ve been in the dark a while, turning on the light can be startling.  The use of the word “dawned” in my version of these verses, causes one to consider the realization, the slow bath of light into darkness.  

God’s light was coming.

Focusing on His word and promises helped for it not to be blinding.  Further, that focus should be on how Isaiah describes the light. . .

Counselor–carries out the plan

Mighty–strength as a warrior

Father–compassionate protector and provider

Peace–wholeness and well-being

His is a light we can count on.  A light that can only grow brighter.

Thoughts for today:

Where in your life do you need the characteristics described of God’s light?

How can accepting that God’s light is all of these things help you persevere in your time of waiting?

O God, how we all need a mighty counselor, a father of peace.  Our wholeness and well-being is so often put at risk when we turn to our own abilities in our times of waiting.  It is only with Your light that we can get through this time. Help us to focus on what Your word says about the light that is dawning. Keep the countless times You have provided, protected, and promised forefront in our hearts and minds.

The messiness of life

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Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I have heard many prayers that ask for the peace that surpasses understanding.

Look at the verse.  It’s not just any peace.   It’s God’s peace that surpasses understanding.  And when you realize that, there is an aha! moment because, of course, it doesn’t make sense. God is bigger than our minds could ever comprehend, therefore, so is His peace.

On August 6, 2017 the pastor at the church I’m attending delivered a message based on this scripture, and I had my aha! moment.

On August 7, 2017, seven months after Nugget had been cut from my womb, I had our first ultrasound for our second child. We saw its heart beating.

On August 14, 2017 our second ultrasound revealed that our little one’s heart had stopped beating.

On August 21, 2017 my body shed all its preparations and the tiny little person that had started there.

And through it all, even though there was sadness, I was at peace.

This, in no way, has been an easy road to travel.  However, the good that Steven and I have found along the way can’t, in any way, be replaced. As individuals we have grown.  As a couple we have strengthened.

The messiness of life. . .we’re ok wading through it and cleaning it up together. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When Peace

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In the last ten months, I have spent much time in grief. It’s consuming. And it’s frustrating. My head knows that there is an abundance of beauty and love surrounding me, but my heart just gets a bit stuck.

I have been angry. . .and defensive.  Defensive of my feelings.  Defensive of my God.

I have been depressed, consumed by all that was lost and all that would never be.

Mostly, I have been at unrest.

But, today. Today, I had a breakthrough and peace descended on me like the river. It refreshed my soul.

Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God IS with you wherever you go.” {emphasis mine}

I’ve read and heard that verse before.  But today it was so deeply personal.  And when the preacher said that it showed God’s divine presence in each of our lives and how He is with us in our journey and waiting for us at the place He’s taking us, it was like eating one of my grandma’s peanut butter balls with her at her kitchen counter.  It was bliss.

God is not surprised by the events in my life. He has been patiently waiting for me and cheering for me as I navigate these unexpected waters.

I am not perfect. But I am loved.

I am not strong. But I am held by the God of the universe. . .and, He is the Almighty.

I am not without wounds. But I am filled with the joy of knowing that Christ is my success.

When peace like a river attends my soul, the balm of Gilead is there applied, and my soul sings loudly.